CPUC Actions Regarding EMFs
On January 15, 1991, the California Public Utilities Commission began an investigation to consider the Commission's potential role in mitigating health effects, if any, of EMFs created by electric utility power lines and by cellular radiotelephone facilities. By this investigation, all interested parties were notified that the CPUC would take appropriate action on EMFs in response to a conclusion, based on scientific evidence, which indicates that a health hazard actually exists, and that a clear cause and effect relationship between utility property or operations and public health is established.
Due to the lack of scientific or medical conclusions about potential health effects from utility electric facilities and power lines, the CPUC adopted Seven Interim Measures that help to address public concern on this subject [D.93-11-013]. The interim EMF requirements apply to Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, Sierra Pacific Power, and Pacific Power & Light. Municipal utilities, like the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, are not under CPUC jurisdiction, although they may voluntarily follow the same measures.
In accordance with Decision 93-11-013, the California Department of Health Services (DHS) initiated a research and education program regarding the possible health effects of electric and magnetic fields from power lines.
The CPUC emphasizes that the scientific community has not isolated the impact on health, if any, of exposure to EMFs from utility facilities. Pending conclusive scientific evidence of possible harm, government has generally adopted the policy of avoiding any unnecessary new exposure if it can be avoided at a cost that is reasonable. The CPUC will rely on the DHS to provide guidance about any future identified public health risk.
Other Research: Utilities are authorized to contribute to federal experimental research conducted under the National Energy Policy Act of 1992.